- March 24, 2020

U.S. TV Viewing Is Increasing During Coronavirus Pandemic

Andy Sullivan
Andy Sullivan
Manager, Software Engineering
Autum Molay
Autum Molay
Director, Product Marketing

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, millions of Americans are staying home and turning to their televisions as a core source of news, information and entertainment.

In an analysis of preliminary live viewing data from Comscore’s footprint of more than 60 million TVs nationwide, we identified several trends to watch:

1. Viewing of cable news networks increased 73% vs. the same week in 2019 (comparing March 16-20 to the same week in 2019). “Daytime” and “Early Fringe” (4:00 to 7:30 p.m.) viewing appear to be driving this increase, with 102% and nearly 82% increases vs. the same week in 2019, respectively.

Coronavirus - Live TV Viewing by Daypart

2. Financial news networks, in particular, saw a significant viewing bump. Looking at two of the highest rated financial news networks in aggregate, we see huge increases across dayparts. Specifically, “Early Fringe” had nearly 160% increase vs. the same week in 2019 and “Daytime” had a nearly 140% increase.

Coronavirus - Live TV Viewing by Daypart Financial Cable News

3. Viewing of the big four broadcast networks has increased nearly 19% vs. the same week in 2019 (comparing March 16-20 to the same week in 2019) (includes ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox). Once again, “Daytime” and “Early Fringe” viewing appear to be driving this trend with 31% and 35% increases vs. the same week in 2019, respectively.

Coronavirus - Live TV Viewing by Daypart Broadcast Networks

4. Daytime viewing of children’s programming networks has increased nearly 31% (comparing March 16-20 to the same week in 2019).

Coronavirus - Live TV Viewing by Daypart Children's Programming

As consumption shifts, we’ll continue to monitor TV viewing trends and will provide frequent updates on any insights of note on this data hub.

Want to find out how you can leverage Comscore TV measurement to understand shifting consumption? Contact us to learn more.

Note: All analyses above compare the March 16-20, 2020 time frame with the prior week (March 9-13, 2020), the same week in the prior month (Feb. 17-21, 2020) and the same week in the prior year (March 18-22, 2019). All data in this analysis is preliminary as of March 22.

Coronavirus Insights

Read our ongoing updates on shifting consumption trends and the resulting impact on the advertising and media industries on comscore.com/Coronavirus.

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